Transportation headlines, Tuesday, June 7

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog.

Los Angeles leads full-throttle dash for U.S. transit cash (New York Times)

This extensive piece from Greenwire traces Los Angeles County’s ambitious transit expansion plans from Measure R, through America Fast Forward, to a transit-oriented future. Much of the story will be very familiar to regular Source readers, but there are some insightful nuggets of information. The gist of several interviews with Angelenos is that they would be eager riders of transit if they felt it was more convenient to them. One critique: The piece gives short shrift to the bus system, which will continue to play a vital role in the region’s mobility, even after various rail lines are built.

NYC’s Plaza Program, an open space model for L.A.? (L.A. Streetsblog)

New York City Traffic Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn penned a guest post this morning about that other important purpose for Los Angeles’ city streets: They’re the single largest chunk of public space in the city. She argues that streets should always strive to balance the needs of those traveling through — regardless of their mode of choice — and those who want to linger. Especially in neighborhoods that are starved for open space — and we have more than our fair share in L.A. — excess car capacity should be turned back over to high-quality pedestrian space.

Why building roads creates traffic (Infrastructurist)

A recent study by two researchers at the University of Toronto reveals a furtive fact of adding more roads or highways in a city: “People drive more when the stock of roads in their city increases; commercial driving and trucking increase with a city’s stock of roads; [and] people migrate to cities which are relatively well provided with roads.” What this post doesn’t make totally clear is the difference between traffic in the literal sense, i.e. the total number of vehicles, and congestion, the lack of free movement. That is to say, building new roads probably won’t make your commuter any easier in the long run, but it will allow and encourage more people to make trips. The one thing that researchers say actually reduces congestion? Paying to use scarce road space, aka congestion pricing.